Advocates for homeless rush to offer shelter ahead of temperature drop in South Florida

MIAMI – Ron Book greeted homeless men and women on Thursday at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. The chairman of the Homeless Trust in Miami-Dade County asked them if they knew temperatures are going to drop to the 40s this weekend.

Brook activated a plan to provide transportation and emergency shelter until it gets warmer again on Sunday in Miami. The effort to protect the homeless includes an inventory of hotel rooms.

“The streets are nowhere for people to be this next couple of nights,” Brook said. “It’s going to be very cold in our community.”

A homeless man rests at Bayfront Park on Thursday in downtown Miami. (Copyright 2020 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

The Homeless Trust had been able to place 90 homeless people in shelters by Thursday afternoon. Brook is hoping more accept the help — not just for the cold weather, but long enough to be able to rehabilitate.

According to estimates in January 2019, nearly 3,500 people were homeless in Miami-Dade County including more than 2,400 who were in homeless shelters and about 1,000 who were living in the streets. Officials estimated 76% of them were in Miami and Miami Beach.

In Broward, there were about 2,211 people homeless earlier this year, according to the Broward Partnership. To help them, activists were asking them to go to the Salvation Army at 1445 W. Broward Blvd., no later than 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

For more information about the Homeless Trust’s services in Miami-Dade, call 305-375-1490. For more information about the Salvation Army’s effort in Broward, call 954-524-6991.

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.